The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Prisons Week of Prayer

Thursday, November 24, 2011
This week is Prisons Week: An ecumenical week of prayer in England and Wales for prisoners and prison ministry. It had its beginnings in 1975, as a Catholic initiative led by Bishop Victor Guazzelli, a beloved Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster and titular Bishop of Lindisfarne. Br. Robert Verrill OP offers a reflection based on his own experiences in prison ministry. Read more

What the Rosary means to me - 18

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My first impressions of the Rosary were not overwhelmingly positive: from the outside, the recitation of a fixed number of set prayers seemed tediously repetitious, and the beads themselves seemed more suited to the florid piety of the medievals than to a 21st century Englishman. Surely, I thought, there must be a more enlightened way of praying? Read more

What the Rosary Means to Me - 16

Thursday, October 20, 2011
My earliest memory of the Rosary comes from family gatherings and holidays. My grandfather would sit all of us around the room and lead the Rosary, usually after the evening meal. It was not until much later that I realized the extraordinary way the Rosary influenced my own love for the Gospel at such a young age. Read more

What the Rosary means to me – 15

Friday, October 14, 2011
As a Christian, I think the Rosary has universal value. I like how it is simple enough for anyone to pray; and so also a good medicine to any who, out of spiritual pride, might consider it too simple for them. It should draw me into the simple love between Mary and Jesus and teach me their humility. There isn’t a technique to saying the Rosary: if I’m looking for one, or make an effort to pray it ‘better’, I’m probably still thinking too much about myself, not enough about God. The Rosary is also Biblical: it gets me to pray in the very words of Jesus, the angel Gabriel and Elizabeth; and it inspires me to meditate on the ‘mysteries’ of the Gospel. Its themes are the universal stories of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection: how could I enter these mysteries and not accordingly feel joyful, sorrowful and full of wonder? Read more

The Mystical Rose

Friday, October 15, 2010
'The Mystical Rose' Read more

Dominican Pilgrimage to Walsingham 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
This year's Dominican pilgrimage to Walsingham took place on the third Sunday of May, as usual, which happened to be the feast of the Ascension. fr Simon Gaine OP preached the homily at the Shrine's Solemn Mass, and, after a picnic in glorious sunshine, we prayed the Rosary and walked the Pilgrims' Way into Walsingham. There was over an hour for looking around the village and spending time together before Vespers and Benediction in the parish church of the Annunciation. Here are some photos from the day: Read more

Join us for Compline

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Spiritual notes from a small island...... The Cloud of Unknowing

Friday, April 24, 2009
The Cloud of Unknowing is a fourteenth century work by an anonymous English author. Over the years, there has been much speculation about the identity of the author, and it has often been said that he was a Carthusian monk. One thing that is clear from the text is that its author was certainly learned, well versed in scholastic theology. There is also a very clear influence of Pseudo-Dionysius, whom the author quotes directly in chapter seventy: 'The most Godlike knowledge of God is that which is known by unknowing’. Pseudo-Dionysius, who was then widely thought to be a follower of Paul (see Acts 17), is used as source and authority for the ideas that The Cloud proposes. The author asserts that we can know more about what God is not than about what God is. This theology informs his approach to the contemplative life, and in this he stands among many influential writers, including St John of Cross, who wrote some two centuries later.
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Spiritual notes from a small island..... Mother Julian of Norwich: Showings of God's Love

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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Spiritual notes from a small island..... St. Aelred of Rievaulx - 'Spiritual Friendship'

Thursday, April 16, 2009
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